There are fun things to do in Achill Island. It was first inhabited 5,000 years ago and is now the largest among all islands off the coast of Ireland.
Connected to the mainland by a bridge, Achill makes for an easy day trip of you’re in County Mayo.
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Achill Island, Ireland
The island is known for its spectacular views and its two popular beaches, Keem Bay and Keel Beach.
Keem Bay is a small cove sheltered by mountains, a relaxing area with stunning views that’s perfect for hanging out. Keel Beach meanwhile, is a haven for surfers as well as for its scenic beach walk.
Achill Island has something for everyone, with its majestic mountains, diverse landscapes, and stretches of stunning Blue Flag beaches. This place is best for those who love scenic nature walks as well as fun watersports.
Around the island, visitors will also see remnants of Achill’s storied past – from ancient forts, deserted villages, historic churches, and megalithic tombs.
How to get to Achill Island
To get to Achill Island from Westport, just take the N59 towards Newport and then Mallaranny. Then follow the R319 Road towards Michael Davitt Bridge – the bridge that connects Achill Island to the mainland. From the bridge, you can head towards your first destination in Achill Island.
Achill Island is around 51 km (31.6 miles) from Westport and it’s around 50 minutes to get there by car.
To get to Achill Island from Castlebar, just take the R311 road towards Newport and then the N59 towards Mallaranny. Then follow the R319 Road towards Michael Davitt Bridge – the bridge that connects Achill Island to the mainland. From the bridge, you can head towards your first destination in Achill Island.
Achill Island is around 58 km (36 miles) from Castlebar and it’s around 50 minutes to get there by car.
Things To Do in Achill Island
If you’re going to visit just one island off the Irish coast, Achill should be on top of your list. From walking along stunning beaches to deserted homes, here are some of the best things to do in Achill Island, Ireland.
Walk along Slí Grainne Mhaol
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Achill Island is known for its scenic coastlines, that visitors simply couldn’t resist.
Waking the three and a half-mile stretch of Slí Grainne Mhaol is one of the best ways to see more of Achill. The trail, which starts at the Pattens Bar, is easily accessible.
If you only have a day to spare but want to see more, then this is the best thing to do on the island to make the most of your visit.
Visit the Deserted Village
For a look into the island’s past, check out the Deserted Village.
This is one of the best things to see in Achill Island, where you get to see what life here must have been like during the Anglo-Norman period.
Located at the base of the Slievemore mountain, this old settlement dates back to the 12th century. The place is quite eerie but nonetheless fascinating.
Soak up the stunning scenery along Keel Beach
Often regarded as one of the best places to visit in Achill Island, Keel Beach is a must experience.
Hang out by the shores and watch surfers ride the wild Atlantic waves, or simply marvel at its distinct beauty.
See the rugged mountains sloping to sandy shores, said to be one of the best views in Ireland.
Keel Beach also has a scenic cliff walk that towers over the Atlantic, which is another way to see more of the beach and its surrounding areas.
Relax at Keem Bay
The island doesn’t run out of unforgettable places to visit and Keem Bay is definitely one of Achill Island’s best attractions.
With its sparkling blue waters and idyllic surroundings, it is no wonder Keem is a Blue Flag beach.
It is one of those places where you can just hang out on the shore, enjoy a picnic, or enjoy a quiet beach stroll.
Check out the local pub scene at Ted’s
No visit to any place in Ireland is complete without visiting a pub and enjoying a pint. Achill Island is no exception, and one of the local favorites is Ted’s. Enjoy some good pub grub along with your pint.
The atmosphere is cozy and authentic, which makes it an ideal place to chill after a long day of exploring the island.
Hi, I’m Christine – a full-time traveler and career woman. Although I’m from the Philippines, my location independent career took me to over 40 countries for the past 8 years. I also lived in 3 continents – from the Caribbean, South East Asia to Africa. But despite living in several countries, my love for Ireland remains the same. A country that had been a part of my life since I was 14 because of my love for Irish music and bands. Ireland Travel Guides was born because of this passion and hopefully, in some little ways, this website will be able to help you on your next trip to Ireland.